132. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Justice the number of gardaí assigned to the drug squad in the Dublin south Garda division; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51551/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended) for the management and administration of Garda business, including the recruitment and training of Garda members and staff. The Commissioner is also responsible for the distribution and deployment of members of An Garda Síochána throughout the State under the Act. As Minister, I play no role in these independent functions.
I am advised by Garda management that as of 30 September 2021, the latest date for which figures are available, a total of 24 Garda members were assigned to the Dublin Metropolitan Region South Divisional Drugs Unit. This allocation is composed of three Garda Sergeants and 21 Gardaí.
The Divisional Drugs Units are supported by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, as well as other Regional and National Units as required, such as the Armed Response Unit and Garda Dog Unit.
I am advised that it is a matter for each Divisional Chief Superintendent to determine the optimal distribution of resources within their Division and that Garda management keeps this distribution under continual review in light of a number of factors, including emerging crime trends and identified operational needs.